The Caseworker Speaks of a Good Fit

Morning laps at its bowl of water.
The lake eagerly greets the shore.
A man in his bathrobe does the daily puzzle,
the smell of coffee—six across.

A boy upstairs lingers in bed.
The warmth of the sheets envelops him.
“How many letters?” “Does it fit?”
The promise of pancakes—four across.

He had dreamt forever of a scene like this:
family, food, a true-green home.
(Violence: that’s a cross word puzzle.
The way he’d cry—eleven down.)

Late afternoon. The wind picks up.
A single blank remains.
“I think I’ve got it. Everything fits!”
His heart billows like a sail.

Copyright © 2023 by DJ Savarese. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 19, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.